revenge porn

Massachusetts House Approves Bill Outlawing Revenge Porn

The House bill would make it a misdemeanor to knowingly distribute sexually explicit materials of people with the goal of intimidating, harassing or causing emotional distress, with reckless disregard of the individual’s expectation they would remain private

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A bill that would outlaw revenge porn in Massachusetts was approved unanimously Thursday by House lawmakers.

Massachusetts is one of just two states without a law banning the practice, which typically involves the nonconsensual posting of sexually explicit images online by former partners.

The bill still needs to be approved by the Senate and signed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

The House bill would make it a misdemeanor to knowingly distribute sexually explicit materials of people with the goal of intimidating, harassing or causing emotional distress, with reckless disregard of the individual’s expectation they would remain private.

Penalties include up to 2 1/2 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Those guilty of second or subsequent offenses could face felony penalties and up to 10 years in prison.

Baker would like to see the first offense treated as a felony.

During his final State of the Commonwealth address in January, Baker said targeting those who engage in revenge porn was one of his remaining priorities.

Baker said he wanted to close what he described as loopholes that he said leaves residents, many of them women, with little recourse when a former partner takes explicit photos and posts them on the internet without their consent.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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